Jesus severely admonishes a crowd and reveals His greatness. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit so he can reject worldly idolatry and strive to serve only God and by seeking the Gift of Understanding so he can more fully live in the reality of his coming resurrection. 

Liturgy

1st Week of Lent – Wednesday – Lk 11:29-32; 28th Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Lk 11:29-32

Commentary

After mysteriously exalting the Blessed Virgin Mary and those who hear and do God’s will, Jesus offers a prophetic proclamation of His divinity. Great crowds surround Him, and Jesus knows they are seeking a “sign”,  blind and failing to see the most Perfect Sign, Jesus Christ, is standing before them. 

Jesus harshly rebukes the crowd’s worldly curiosity, calling them an “evil and adulterous generation” (Greek). This is a stunning and harsh rebuke of the multitude, for it judges the crowd to be as corrupt as the faithless Jews who were punished by God for their sins by being excluded from entering the Promised Land (Deut 1:35; 29:1-3; 32:5); it is a severe and insulting warning which certainly stunned, frightened and angered the crowds.  

Continuing to refer to Scripture, Jesus makes astounding claims about Himself by using familiar Jewish figures from the Old Testament. Jesus makes the startling revelation He is the Son of Man, the promised Messiah, and He is greater than the great prophet Jonah. By drawing comparison to Jonah, who was entombed in a whale for three days, Jesus offers a veiled prophecy of His Passion, for He will be entombed, and rise again after three days. Jesus then escalates His claims of greatness by revealing He is even greater than Solomon, Israel’s second greatest king. Jesus goes even further with His warnings and insults by revealing the pagan men of Nineveh and the pagan queen of the South will rise, and have the superior moral authority to condemn the evil generation of Jews. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Contrary to the false teachings of those who portray Jesus as permissive and willing to forgive unrepentant sinners who remain rebelliously defiant in even the most perverse and abominable of sins, be filled with holy fear of God’s just punishment of unrepentant sinners in this passage: Jesus, the Son of Man, Harshly Warns the sinful of Israel, calling them evil, and Warns of the Condemnation of the unrepentant in the Judgment. 

Reject worldly idolatry and serve only God

Realize: Some men drift away from Catholicism and fall into idolatry by putting their exclusive or main hope in various human movements which promise to bring peace, progress and pleasure: political leaders/activists and parties, false religions, money, sensual indulgence, technology, science, psychology, philosophies, nationalism, atheism, genderism, racism, environmentalism, and other various ideologies. 

Believe: Reflect upon The 1st Commandment (CCC 2110-2132).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Piety so You instill in me the truth that there is only one God, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, that only God can give me salvation, and that I am called to serve only God; Holy Spirit, protect me from any and all forms of godless idolatry which promise progress, but lead to destruction.

Live in the reality of your coming resurrection

Realize: Jesus’ revelation that, “no sign shall be given…except the sign of Jonah” is an explicit exhortation for men to be absolutely convinced by His Resurrection (rising to life after three days like Jonah’s “rebirth” from the belly of the whale); to proceed in faith, every Catholic man must hold fast to the great sign of the Resurrection.

Believe: Reflect upon The Resurrection (CCC 638-658; 988-1019).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so You allow me to grasp and be awed by the truth of the Blessed Trinity’s glorious promise that I will be raised from the dead, and so I can always see my life as a pilgrimage to sainthood and the eternal happiness of Heaven.